Saturday, June 13, 2009

Brownies, a Recipe

Tonight (if 5:00 qualifies as night, of which I am dubious) we have been invited to a cookout (in the rain) with my spouse's friends. He volunteered that I'd bring dessert. I'm good with that, I love baking. Really truly love baking, and even more, I love all the compliments when I bake something truly delicious. I don't so much love the reaction when I oopsidentally misread the recipe and put in 1 1/2 T salt when it called for 1 1/2 t, but that only happens when I'm trying to follow a recipe and hold a conversation with my MIL.
I generally prefer baking as a solitary sport.
For tonight, I'm making brownies, and I thought I'd share the recipe complete with the steps to making them with you.
First, I like to get out my favorite cook book, "The Kitchen Wizard Modern Family Cookbook," I think its called. Sadly, its from the fifties and still uses terms like "a moderate oven" to mean 350 degrees. Then I rifle through the pages until I come to cookies. Aparently brownies are cookies. There it is, recipe number X, page, Y. I keep forgetting to bookmark it. I read the ingredients. Bakers Chocolate, Butter, Sugar, Eggs, Salt, Flour- I can handle this. Tonight I'll even make them with all the butter called for because they're for a party, and lower fat means drier, and who wants dry brownies at a party?
I turn on the oven, pull out my brownie pan, you know, the square one that makes them ooh so thick and chewy? I even pull my standmixer away from the wall. (Its the pink one, and yes, I justified the extra cost of it to my husband witht the "but its supporting breast cancer research," when despite my grandmother fighting breast cancer and the recent tumor I had removed, I really meant, OMG SQUEE!!! Its pink!) Then I go to grab my favorite Tinkerbell mug to melt the bakers chocolate in the microwave, and I hear it. Snapdragon woke up and is wailing. Great.
I go pick him up and he's trying to suck my arm. I sigh, glance back at the kitchen and settle onto my bed to feed him.
Just as he's drifting off to sleep, he startles and starts squaking. Then I hear it again, the oven telling me its done preheating.
Great. I nurse him back to a nice milk drunk state and gently lay him down while I put on my pouch sling, then I roll him up and carefully slip him into it. He fusses, then settles into it.
However much I'd like to stay still and stare at his cute content cuddliness, time and natural gas are a burning.
Back to the kitchen.
I glance through the recipe again and then go to find the baker's chocolate. I pull it out and glance at the recipe on the back of the box and remember it makes a bigger batch. Hmmmm...
I start pulling the appropriate ingredients out. It calls for two cups sugar. I don't have two cups of white sugar. Shrugging and patting my slingarific Snapdragon, I pull the brown sugar out, opting for a xup of each. I considered using my turbinado sugar for all of it, but I'm selfishly hoarding that. So 50/50 it is.
The recipe I'm now using calls for 1 1/2 cups of butter, and that I cannot do. Bear in mind I've been cooking low-fat fairly strictly for years now. So I decide that 1 cup of butter is enough.
I think I only read recipes to make sure I have a basic idea about how they're made. A guideline more than directions. Aren't you glad I'm not in charge of anything life or death?
So half of my less-than-called-for butter goes into the tinkerbell cup along with my four squares of baker's chocolate (3 unsweetened, 1 semi-sweet, just because I'm in the mood to be contrary at this point) and straight into the evil box of doom, er, I mean the microwave to melt. The other half goes in the mixing bowl with the sugar and the creaming commences. I add the vanilla, and then, because I'm already being contrary, I add a bit of butter flavor and almond extract. I pull the eggs out of the fridge and notice that somebody is gerring a touch discontent. I crack them and drop them into the bowl as it mixes on low. One- he sounds upset. Two, he's squirming. Three- he's screaming like the world's about to end. (Perhaps out of fear that we are heading toward brownie fail?) Snapdragon is not happy.
I sigh and notice that I'm not all that comfy either with the growing wetspot from him outsoaking his diaper, and flip the lever to turn off the mixer, rushing into my bedroom to change his fluffy.
Purple fluffy off, bottom wiped, bew fluffy on. He's still crying so I reluctantly sit back down and nurse him a little more. Don't get me wrong, I love nursing him, but sometimes there ae things that need doing.
As he drifts off to quasi-sleep land, I set him in the lamby swing and make a mad tiptoe back to the kitchen, only to find that I've nearly got a meringue going because I flipped the wtong switch, unlocking the top and not turning it off.
Brilliant. I pull the melted chocolate out, pour it in, and make sure its mixing in on low. Then I go to get the flour. My regular flour bin is empty, so I go to open the bag of flour my SIL gave me when she recently moved. Uhoh, there's something in it. Something small and dark. I grab a spoon, I hold my breath, I pick it up, all the while ready to throw the towel in and skip bringing dessert alltogether with nightmares of a pantry infested with tiny creepy crawlies flashing before my eyes. Thank gods it is just a not well ground piece of grain. So I pour the rest of the bag of flour into the canister I regularly use to keep flour in and bugs out.
Measure the flour and add it to my well overbeaten mixture.
Things are almost looking hopeful. Moments later I'm rubbing oliveoil into my baking dish and then scooping the batter up with a spatula and smoothing it into the pan. It doesn't pour because I whipped waaay too much air into it.
I pop babyboy in his bouncy seat, pop the brownies in the oven, sigh at the mess I am, set the timer, and head straight for the shower.
Of course, Snapdragon is awake and squaking soon enough, but at least I was clean.
Another demand nursing later the timer goes off and I pull the brownies out.
This evening I found out that despite being whipped to the point the batter won't pour, mthey were truly quite good, if a touch on the complicated side to make.

1 reflections:

Pamela said...

Ugh. Those days are trying for sure. But at least you had a pan of brownies to soothe your soul at the end of the day.